Air travel is not what it used to be. In spite of still being the most efficient way to travel long distances, long gone are the days of luxury and privilege in travel. Now most travel days consist of long lines, security, removing your shoes, packing your liquid toiletries in a plastic baggie, and leaving your furry friends at home. That is, unless you decide to check private jet charters.
Although not the first thing that comes to mind when looking for a travel deal, there is actually much more to private jet charters than meets the eye. In fact, here are a few little known facts and benefits of booking a seat, or all of the seats, on a private jet.
1. Many Options
There are over 20,000 private jet charters registered throughout the world, with over half of those listed in the United States. Although many of these are only used for their owner’s personal use, the vast number of jets available makes for a multitude of options on the rental market.
2. The Destinations are Numerous
Although there have been consistent critics of the “lifestyles of the rich and famous”, private jet owners swear to their utility. For instance, in the United States alone, commercial airlines only reach 550 airports private jets, which are powered by gas turbine engines rather than props or pistons utilize more than 5000 airports. Business aviation also employs over 1 million and $150 billion in economic stimulus.
3. Not as Expensive as You Think
While no one is going to say it is inexpensive to fly on a private jet charter, the prices do vary widely. To rent a Citation Mustang, the hourly rate comes in at a mere $1674, whereas to shoot for the stars on a Gulfstream 550, the price tag will set you back over $8000 an hour. By taking into account the distance, number of passengers, and size, it is possible to keep expenses down.
4. Event Travel is Huge
Everyone loves a reason for a party, and by far the largest event for jet travel is the Super bowl, with the Masters Golf Tournament and Art Basel on Miami Beach. What better party is there then to get a couple of dozen of your closest friends together to fly away in style to a favorite sporting event?
5. On the Expensive Side
Without a doubt, the most expensive private jet in the world is that of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud. His $500million Airbus 380 includes a two-car garage, a stable for horses and camels, and a prayer room that rotates so it always faces Mecca. This one is NOT available to rent, just in case you were wondering!
6. Pack at Will
When you opt for private charter jet service, “packing light” becomes nonexistent. For a comparison, Delta Airlines economy class tickets allow for 3cubic feet of baggage room before fees are incurred. A Gulfstream G550 allows for 226 cubic feet per passenger. The days of traveling with steamer trunk in tow may very well be making a comeback.
7. Take the Flight Less Traveled
Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth. The odds are, most people have flown in or out of one, or all, of the busiest airports in the United States. Endless walks between terminals and endless lines and security once you finally reach your terminal. Combined with the masses of humanity and often uncomfortable seating at the gate, it is no wonder private charter jet travel is gaining followers. When you compare the 100 million passengers that pass through Atlanta yearly, the fraction of passengers traveling through Teterboro Airport in New Jersey is a dream. And you don’t even have to take off your shoes.
8. No Plans, No Problems
One of the best ways to earn yourself a shot at a seat on a private charter jet is to have plans that allow for flexibility. By buying a seat as a “deadhead” you lose flexibility in time and route, but for a surprisingly low cost you can grab a seat on board a repositioning flight. After the V.I.P is dropped off, simply take their place as the plane heads back to its home base.
9. The Wave of the Future
The growing inconveniences of air travel has created a huge market for private jet charters. The ability to fly in and out of thousands of municipal airports, the almost total lack of lines, and the ability to tailor a flight schedule to the needs of the traveler has created an ever-growing market for business travelers, but also for those simply fed up with the strain of dealing with commercial airports.
10. Truly Treat Yourself to a Splurge
Few lines, little inconvenience, great flexibility, baggage space and ample leg room. All of these factors alone are enough to consider a private jet charter flight. But why not bring it one step further? Enjoy a meal by a celebrity chef. Indulge in spa treatments en-route. Appreciate a waiting town car upon arrival. Perhaps even have a temporary board room set up on board to finalize the logistics of that important business meeting. All this is possible with the booking of a private jet charter. Rather than spend valuable hours becoming exhausted before arrival, step off the plane relaxed, refreshed, and ready to enjoy your destination.
11. Hang with the Stars
Oprah Winfrey, Jackie Chan, Jay-Z and Beyonce. To fly a private charter jet is to, for just a short time, appreciate the luxurious life of a celebrity. A few famous jet owners even fly their own planes, including Jimmy Buffett, Tom Cruise and John Travolta.
While booking a flight on one of the beautiful private jet charters may not conclude with a dinner invitation from Oprah, the experience is certainly one for the bucket list. And with a growing number of options for reasonably priced flights, this form of travel may very well become habit forming. It is surely worth the time to check out this ever-growing segment of the travel industry.